Nigerians in Space (Nigerians in Space, #1) by Deji Bryce Olukotun

Nigerians in Space (Nigerians in Space, #1)

1993. Houston. Dr. Wale Olufunmi, lunar rock geologist, has a life most Nigerian immigrants would kill for, but then most Nigerians aren’t Wale—-a great scientific mind in exile with galactic ambitions. Then comes an outlandish order: steal a piece of the moon. With both personal and national glory at stake, Wale manages to pull off the near impossible, setting out on a journey back to Nigeria that leads anywhere but home. Compelled by Wale...

Details Nigerians in Space (Nigerians in Space, #1)

TitleNigerians in Space (Nigerians in Space, #1)
Release DateFeb 1st, 2014
PublisherThe Unnamed Press
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Cultural, Africa, Mystery, Science Fiction Fantasy

Reviews Nigerians in Space (Nigerians in Space, #1)

  • Althea Ann
    I asked the library if they had this book after reading Olukotun's 'We Are The Olfanauts' ( and they decided to buy it just for me! So, you should go request it from the NYPL so it doesn't turn out to just have been for me! The novel is even better than the (unrelated) short story. It's in that interstitial literary arena where it's almost-but-not-quite science fiction, but is definitely fiction that will ...
  • Monica
    I loved it. A different kind of book for me. It was a suspense/thriller. I found this on goodreads giveaways. I didn't win, but I found myself intrigued and had to read it. It did not disappoint. The book was well written, action packed, odd (in a good way) and unpredictable. Most of the action does not take place in the US so it was an introduction to a world stage (though primarily in South Africa). The plot was *no spoilers* a Nigerian officia...
  • Dan
    For the first chapter I wasn't sure if this was fiction or a very entertainingly written history, a la The Devil in the White City. Turns out it's fiction, but my confusion stemmed from the fact that Olukotum's prose is incredibly authoritative. He thoroughly delivered me into the world of his novel without sacrificing tension or pacing. The story revolves around an ill-fated attempt by a silver-tongued politico to reverse the brain drain in Nige...
  • Stacia
    Scientists are lured back home in a ‘brain gain’ plan to start up Nigerian space program. But, things go awry. Is it legit, a scam, or something more sinister?Well-told, interweaving stories that not only explore various issues including nationality, exile, political machinations, dreams vs. reality, aspirations, generational impact of actions, scams, criminal activity, national pride, etc..., but also move between 1993 and the present.There ...
  • Phil Jensen
    What is this book about?It's easy to say what it's not about. It's not about a group of Nigerians on a spaceship. It's not even exactly about a Nigerian space program. It's about something else... but what?The book concerns two generations of people, most of them emigrant Nigerians. Apparently, this is a thing. If, like me, you are not already aware of the Nigerian Brain Drain, then this might be a tricky book to comprehend. Apparently, the best ...
  • Ardis
    I’ve recently read the 2014 book Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun, and I’ve come out the other side baffled and unsettled. I don’t understand why this book has received the praise it’s gotten. While the core premise around which Olukotun builds his narrative may be promising, that premise is hardly explored and is almost entirely obscured by unrelatable and unlikable characters and bad writing.I don’t think there’s a lot of v...
  • Blue
    Nigerians in Space may very well be the best fiction book I will have read in 2014. I find myself reading more non-fiction these days, afraid of the frequent disappointment with new fiction, but I am glad that I won Nigerians in Space in the Goodreads First Reads (thanks!) giveaway.I could describe the book in terms of the plot (the events set off by a Nigerian official promising a scientific leap in the home country to successful Nigerian scient...
  • Susan
    A funny, strange yet fascinating first novel (by an author whose family I know, I must admit.) The characters - from South Africa, Nigeria, USA - are very well drawn, some very amusing, some frightening. The story line begins with the premise that (contrary to our view of Nigerians being involved in scams - the infamous 419s) there are well-educated Nigerians, even or especially scientists. Dr Wale Olufunmi, who begins the novel as a respected ge...
  • Alex
    This was a fun book to read immediately after coming back from a trip to Cape Town; I think I had a lot more context and understood the characters-- especially Thursday--on a level that I would not have even 2 months ago. I think the fact that the author later "met his protagonist" adds a level of authenticity, and I found the book compelling even if the last third was a bit far-fetched and, if I'm being blunt, sloppy. I think if anything reading...
  • Damien
    Afro-centric, sci-fi, international espionage thriller? Yes, please.
  • Karen
    When I said yes to a review copy of NIGERIANS IN SPACE, I will admit that it was partly the title. The opening line of the blurb didn't hurt either. Starting to read it, from about chapter 2 I was totally bamboozled, and firmly hooked. (Although I was mildly disappointed that the piece of the moon stolen was pilfered from a laboratory ... for a while I hoped....)With a story that quickly moves from the early 90's to the present, this is a very sm...
  • Carolynn
    I was not sure what to expect from this book, but I ended up really loving it. It had the pace and content of a crime thriller, but was unlike any other I've read. It's set in Africa, both Nigeria, but also more South Africa and the subjects, characters and scenes are completely unique. I found myself almost missing my subway stop on the way to work because I could not put it down. I can't wait until they make it into a movie...
  • Mark
    I've been describing this book as a "spy" novel, but it's really just fantastic fun and perfectly weird read that I highly recommend.
  • Mack
    Nigerians in Space is Olukotun's first novel and I hope he has another in the works because this one grabbed my interest from start to finish. The title sounds as if it might be science fiction but it is a crime thriller—with maybe a touch of mysticism—set primarily in Cape Town, South Africa. The story moves between 1993/94 and the present.In 1993, a glib Nigerian government official named Bello makes an offer to Nigerian scientists working ...
  • Gerhard
    Despite the title, there is not much about ‘Nigerians’ nor ‘Space’ here, apart from a rather rushed coda in Abuja. This starts out as some kind of a Dan Brown thriller, focused mainly on abalone smuggling in Cape Town, with an aside about moon-rock theft in Houston in the US … and then it mysteriously devolves into some kind of a magic realist novel based on a rather unique treatment of race (cue the moonlight). What is it about Nigeria...
  • Sasha Wolf
    Poignant but confusing I found the four main characters interesting and the writing evocative, but the constant changes in perspective from character to character and from past to present left me struggling to follow the plot. I didn't feel this novel fulfilled the promise of exploring the idea of home, which left me feeling disappointed overall.
  • Shona Tiger
    Maybe I read it too fast (the second half, anyway); maybe it's the magical realism towards the end, but I found it just a little confusing, there. Will have to think about it.
  • John Defrog
    Debut novel from Deji Bryce Olukotun that isn’t quite what it seems at first glance. I found this in the science-fiction section of the bookstore, and the blurb suggests that it’s a fictional story about Nigeria attempting to kick off a space-flight program. In reality, it’s more of an international thriller with a few scientific elements. The narrative hops back and forth between 1993 and present day, following lunar geologist Wale Olufunm...
  • Claire
    I received Nigerians in Space as part of a Goodreads giveaway.Bouncing back and forth between the early 1990s and the present day, Nigerians in Space centers on Wale, a lunar geologist, as he steals a piece of moon rock from his employer (NASA) and returns to his homeland as part of a mysterious "Brain Gain" movement designed to attract Nigerian expatriate talent back to the home country. We also follow the fates of Wale's son as a young adult, a...
  • Bernie
    Interesting read. I was confused by some of it. I wish that I liked it as much, as some of the other reviewers.
  • Lorraine Lipman
    After a strong start this book was a disappointment . Too many jumps in time, and a rushed and fumbled conclusion. Had it not been a book club read I doubt if I would have finished it.
  • Joanne
    This books starts out really well but quickly falls down. The constant shifts in time for absolutely no reason infuriated me. It's a real shame as the story had real potential.
  • The Coat
    Great read, some aspects of plot a little loose but loved the writing and the content
  • Mal Warwick
    Deji Bryce Olukotun writes science fiction stories, and his second book was a dystopian novel. So, perhaps I can be forgiven for thinking that his first book, Nigerians in Space, would be a science fiction novel. Especially since it opens at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Alas, this is no science fiction novel. In fact, it's difficult to categorize it in any way at all.Nigerians in space?If anything, Nigerians in Space revolves around the t...
  • Lauren
    I was promised Nigerians in space, and instead, I got three interwoven stories, one of which was about a lunar geologist who really wants to go to space but instead spends most of his time in an observatory trying not to get killed after being scammed - maybe - as part of a "Brain Gain" program to lure Nigeria's best scientists back to the country to revitalize the nation. But no Nigerians in space. I don't even know what to say about this book b...
  • Stanley Trice
    This is about bringing all the smart people who left Nigeria back to their country to launch a rocket to the moon. In 1993, Nurudeen Bello is supposed to be a government official put in charge of Brain Gain, which identifies the scientists to bring back home. But, before the scientists can get to Nigeria, someone starts to kill them.Wale Olufunmi makes it almost to Nigeria. He is a geologist studying Apollo era moon rocks in Houston, TX. He steal...
  • Kkraemer
    Wale Olufunmi is just a regular guy: he loves baseball, he loves the moon, he works hard, has friends. One day, though he's offered an amazing possibility: come home -- to Nigeria -- and build his country to greatness. Build a space program. Go to the moon. No such opportunity will ever present itself here in the U.S., and besides, it's time for Nigeria to initiate its Brain Gain and bring its sons and daughters home to lead the world.He will be ...
  • Christopher Graffeo
    I read this after After the Flare, and I think it might actually read better as a prequel. The story is less tense than the follow up, but I was already interested in what was going on from reading the second book first. Here again, there are lots of interesting characters that are woven together very well. I had a hard time with some of the South African slang, though not anywhere near the point of incomprehension. There's a lot of different loc...
  • Queensly
    This story had so much potential and I honestly got very excited about it from reading its first few pages. However, as a Nigerian, I discovered that there was a lack of research about some details in this book. The jumps in time were unnecessary, Melle's skin transformation incredulous, her meeting with Tinuke loosely tied, and Wale's kidnapping action and divorce unresolved.Furthermore, Melissa's death (or something of that sort), Thursday's be...
  • Sue Myers
    I only finished this book so that I could see if the characters hung together and if there was a resolution. There was not! 3 main characters, Dr. Wale, Melissa and Thursday. Did not particularly care for any of them. Each had their own disconnected story. Deals with an individual(?)trying to create a Brain Gain in Nigeria and energizing a space program there. Could not figure out if this was a scam or a terrorist plot funded by whom? Terrible mi...